tv [untitled] July 26, 2012 2:30pm-3:00pm PDT
so i just wanted to point out that he did great work. he deserves the thanks of the commission and so does member ammiano as well. >> on behalf of the commission, thank you, mr. massey, for your efforts. any comments, questions from the commissioners? ms. studley? commissioner studley: i know that we have been working for quite a while on this and i begin with, i focus on the advantages for the public. what i found most compelling in the executive director's report were the way it allows public users of the system to get integrated information and not chopped-up information if for example, a committee goes from a small filer to one that is required to file electronically that they now would end up with
all of the materials together and a variety of other ways in which it seemed like it would be positive for the public. that to me relates to the requirement that the amendment further the purposes of cfro which as we have just been reminded and i do mean reminded, not instructed for the first time, that that is the principal question that we have to ask. that leaves me in support of all the pieces. there is one thing that, i think that my question was, i asked a question, had a question as i was reading and then i believe it was answered, but i would just like to make sure that i understood it correctly. i was wondering as i got to section 2b, my question was, can we give filers who are not required to provide the information under $1,000 filer
fee option to file just electronically? did i understand the last point to be saying that they do have that option, or did i not connect the dots properly? >> we added section 1.112 c to allow for voluntary electronic filing. if they comply with that, then they would not need to file paper copies. >> as i was reading along, i was hoping that we did that, and i was pleased to see that. so thank you for confirming that. thank you. that's all. >> i appreciate the efforts that the staff has made to get this in place. i think it is going to be a huge benefit to the public. i have one question about decision point one. so are these proposed findings in section one all new from line 10 through page 2, line
19? >> yes, they all have been added. >> ok, so i'm looking at -- i just want to make sure we're looking at the same document. it looked like additions were supposed to be in underlined i talics. >> that's fine. when we draft ordinances with findings that are not intended to be ordinances that are not intended to be codified, under the board formatting rules, those are in the arial font, said that will not be codified. it would just be in the ordinance, and it will not appear. commissioner renne: no. 5, it
seemed odd for us to approve that statement. i do not know if that is just a function of how things happen or whether we can delete that. it just felt odd for us to approve what the board thinks. >> actually, that statement is the most important statement, because under the state legislation, the agency would be required to pass an ordinance with that statement. commissioner renne: but i thought you just said it was not codified. >> this is in order to adopt this. this does not have to be in the code. the city has to make the finding in order to go to this electronic filing system. i wonder if one suggestion would be changing that finding to be the board of supervisors and the ethics commission finds that, etc., and the next one
would read the board of supervisors and the ethics commission. chair hur: i think that would be preferable. any views to the contrary? commissioner studley? vice president studley: no. i have a different point as long as we are looking at the findings, so if he wanted to conclude your point -- chair hur: that was the conclusion of my point. vice president studley: going back to a moment ago, this focuses on the staff burden of the current system, and in both number two and number four, and for me, this starting point is that the information is available more quickly and in a
more usable format. it is there. it is and number four, .consistent with the comment i made a moment ago about the requirements of, at advancing the purposes, my suggestion may be as simple as changing number four to flip the two substantive elements of that sentence, to make the information publicly available in a shorter time frame and a more usable format and to conserve staff resources. i believe that is how it belongs. the commissioner -- is there any reason that would be -- >> i do not see that is a problem. chair hur: any problem with that? >> i think that is an excellent
suggestion. chair hur: any other comments from the commissioners with respect to this item? let's open it up for public comments.>> i had a comment or n about the paper filings as opposed to the e-filing. i am a treasure of a small club, and we put out a filing every year, 54 $6,000 in costs us, and the electronic filing program is where can -- $5,000 to $6,000 it costs us, and the e-filing, i do not think that calculated that
to put out the slave card, you would have multiple issues but multiple checks so that you end up with a matrix of numbers. this last election was a small election. it ended up to the 16 candidates and issues, and we wrote five checks, said that is how many entries i have on schedule d, although you can consolidate items under $100 supposedly, which i did, ok, so i filed my report, but then when it came to the second finding, the totals were more than $100, so i had to go back and correct my our original 460, so that 64 entries
for schedule d, 16 pages of entries, which are nonsense, total nonsense. no one would ever go to look at them because what schedule d is supposed to provide is how much did your slate card contribute to each candidate, and there are so many entries, a little bit numbers, it does not give that information. when you could to ethics and say, "this is nonsense," the answer is a bureaucratic reply, "well, but that is the correct way to do it." either they need to fix the program, or i have asked, why can i not do schedule d on paper and provided that way, and then finally, i came up with a
matrix that has the vertical sums, and the horizontal sums. the same as the matrix but with only 22 numbers, and i did it that way, so instead of 16 pages, it is like six pages of schedule d. this is all nonsense because no one is ever going to look at this, and they need to correct the program or else give us some relief. i do not think there are many clubs who are putting up this kind of a slate card. it is just a $5,000 late card. chair hur: thank you, ma'am. >> excuse me. oliver here. the prior speakers' concerns about schedule d are very well
founded. this was bootstrapped on to the system. it is not user friendly. there can be some improvements there. it works great for kids, but it is hard for the small pac's. the rationale for ending paper filing that it is more costly and inconvenient to continue to process stands in stark contrast to your executive's staff decision to retain paper only filing with one campaign form, the 126 contract disclosure reports. incidently, these are triggered by the same lot as those with item four on your agenda. when i was on the staff, i notified them that they were regularly contacting these. this puts regulators and grass- roots campaigns without this to
their advantage. i said there was a budget freeway to implement the electronic filing, which was to switch from paper to a form submitted by email, as is already done by certain financing forms from your agency. your managers maintain the unfriendly paper format. hours spent scanning forms before they can be posted online. switching to this other form will facilitate construction of prohibitive donor data sheet and help efforts for all san francisco candidates. you directors -- your director has the ability to implement this on the -- on his own. since he has not, while publicly bemoaning be administrative difficulties that the paper contract forms present, i recommend that you add a provision to regulation 1.126-4 mandating that the contract disclosure be in xcel or other
electronic forms. this applies equally to people filing form 700 conflict of interest forms. in 2007, epics management, to their great credit, made a long overdue proposal, which was mandating an electronic filing. the commissioners decided to reject that and stick with paper, and the rationale was that computers were hard and stuff. i suggest you revisit that proposal, and instead of having staff do that, that automate them. thank you. >> commissioners, inspector, open government. the real question i have for the ethics members on this agenda
item is if these documents are submitted electronically, when and where will the public have access to these public records? this is for complete and timely access. it is self-serving. the memorandum mentions timely access and places no requirement in the actual law on the staff to post these received documents immediately. in mentions in there, well, these can be -- there is nothing in the law that says they have to be. i think if you're going to put a requirement on people submitting these applications and then present the idea they will be available to the public, there should be something in the ordinance that's possibly says they should be available within a certain time frame after submission. with these proposed amendments to the campaign finance reform, at each point where a requirement is placed for filing electronically, there should also replace the requirement for
all such documents to be made available to the public immediately upon receipt. one of the most frequent complaints i hear from the ethics commission staff is how overworked they are. the step is always complaining about their work load. having these documents immediately available online to the public would insure that nothing is missed by the staff hard pressed to carry out its duties and responsibilities. very frankly, if they are available immediately on line, political opponents will be able to review them, and that is typically the will be able to look at them to see if their opponents are doing something that they are getting outclassed by. for the public, it is better to have many, many members of the public looking at the is that eliminating thousands of pages of documents and that we are going to rely on staff to effectively and fairly review these. none of us is as smart as all of
us, and if the public has access to these records immediately, they are able to go and look at the records. because each individual typically has things they are more concerned about when it comes to the political process. they will be focused on to a aspects of these forms, and as a result, you will get many, many people who will be able to review these forms and point out any problems that may exist. i think open government and especially with this election coming up, we need to avoid the senator cornyn situation at the last election, which is people coming in and saying they want to get a hold of records pertaining to contributions, and they will not give it to us, and they would say they would give them a letter, but ethics would not enforce it, so then they would tell them that they had better go to court. they would not give it to you until after the election.
>> ok, commissioners. larry. i just want to set and the notion that there should be a timeline when these things should go off on a public access database. what i was looking at form 700 filed by officials for those i was doing a report on, i would find that weeks would go by after the deadline, and they would not be available, so i began calling people who i knew were in elective office, and i would ask them why they had not file the form, and they said that they did file, and they had a date, and they would come back to epics, who said they had a large stack and that they had not gotten from them. there needs to be a timeline. i do not know if immediate still works, because so far they are still paper, but if you go to what was suggested about them being electronic, there is no reason they should not be available in 10 days. so i urge you to adopt a
standard pork -- for performance about when these things will be available publicly. thank you. >> commissioners, charles, again, for the record. i do want to say that there are a lot of interesting things in the rose report. he did assign two staff on to this project, and they took it very seriously, in looking at los angeles and san francisco with some degree of debt, and it occurs to me, as it may occur to you, in time, maybe in the near term, you might be able to exchange ideas with los angeles, but in order to do that, you might want to put together a small group to go down and look at l.a. and look at certain processes and procedures, and you might have an eyeopening
experience. you're going to have that in the report itself, but it may well be that we do not have to reinvent the wheel, either one of us. there are things that we can give them and things that they can give austria for instance, they might be able to tell us they have already been requiring electronic filing. i do not know, but they might tell me exactly how to do that, and they might give you the software to do it. i do not know, but that is the type of thing that might come up. that is the comment i had to make. chair hur: thank you very much. i do have a couple of comments. anything file electronically is available immediately on our side, is that correct? >> that is right.
these records are already filed in electronic format. we are just eliminating the paper. chair hur: ok. there should not be any additional delay, or there is no need to further provide for a timeline for when they are available because they are automatically available, if and when an electronic filers files the documents? >> yes. as soon as we receive the documents, the staff has access to them. vice president studley: just to be clear. staff does not need to do anything with it? a person hits submit. it goes into the system and is accessible to staff and the public, or is there some intervening step? >> it is not an immediate process. we do not have to intervene at all. chair hur: commissioner hayon?
\ commissioner hayon: does this go to the point that was made by mr. bush? vice president studley: x that not all of these are filed electronically. if they are filed electronically, then they have to be entered. chair hur: we are proposing that any thing that inspired electronically, and we are proposing that more be filed electronically, it will be made available faster than if we had to scan it. vice president studley: would form 700, this would be a separate item for us to take on. none of that has been addressed. >> prior to now, state law had a requirement. in the past, we did is we made the electronic filing process available but not mandated, so people can file them
electronically, and when they do that, they are readily available. but most of the people are required. commissioner hayon: thank you. chair hur: the other question i had was about the electronic version of schedule d. >> says schedule d, the way the state constructed electronic format for the is complicated, and as a result, the way needed to complete that is laborious in the electronic system. we are actually working on a revision that would speed up the entry of schedule d to get around some of the state format issues, but i do not expect that to come out until early next year.
mr. st. croix? >> when we have is to clarify some issues that have been raised dealing with the extent of the campaign finance reform and ornaments, and basically, many of the changes are technical in nature or are linguistic in nature. the one thing we wanted to do is to clarify when we are talking about the applicability is that it applies to an individual who holds city elective office in any committee controlled by the elected officer. and i am happy to -- not want chair hur: -- chair hur: any questions or
comments from commissioners? this strikes me, again, as helpful amendments to clarify the purpose of 1.126, and to clarify it in terms of how it is applied. i think it is consistent with the goals and the intention of the voters. i welcome public comment on this. matter. >> commissioners, way, director of san francisco open government. is there ever a meeting where you are not revising cfro? is this not like rearranging chairs on the titanic? relieving city government and it
doing this, and you have given them an exemption. certain members of the public tend to follow issues. they are more likely to notice the missing documents than what is applied. most often, the commission staff provides you with the documents that would lead you to the determination they want rather than documents to cover all sides. as has been mentioned several times to get by prior speakers, there are in these cases two requirements. one is that you make these changes and that the board of supervisors do it. it the board of supervisors at the rules committee is having a discussion, and they decide not to pass the information on to you, then how can effectively work with the board of supervisors to come up with a coordinated situation? it really does seem from reviewing documents that you
have one side of the story. these are therefore not considered. the other thing i hate to think of is that you were being provided documents and the public is not, which obviously would be a severe violation of the sunshine ordinance, so if there rules committee is having discussions, and mr. rose gives them information about the very things you are talking about, and the staff passes on to your recommendation which leaves out the fact that the rules committee made several suggestions as to changes they felt were appropriate, that leaves you out of the loop, and it just sets up a dynamic where it goes back to the rules committee, and the rules committee says, we had a report from mr. rose, and we made suggestions for changes, and it went to the ethics commission, and they sent it back to was completely ignoring all i am saying is that the picture presented not only to you but to
the public should be a complete and balanced one, and unfortunately, a lot of things i review with the ethics commission, the staff seems to send you documents that support the position they are taking and then leave out other information. chair hur: is there a motion to adopt the amendments to cfro? vice president studley: 2nd. chair hur: all in favor approved opposed? hearing none, the motion passes. commissioner hayon: i am sorry to do this. can we go back to item number three? there was something not mentioned in the motion. i wonder if the commissioners can consider that because it does have a change we mentioned.
chair hur: i am sorry? >> that is on page 7 of the staff memo. chair hur: yes. >> and although it says 7, i think it is really six. vice president studley: i think you just said one through five. chair hur: going back to the proposed amendment, is there a motion to adopt the changes from decisions 6, having already approved the changes in 135 subject to our two amendments? is there a motion to adopt a decision